Some diehard Oasis fans think that Be Here Now is great, some will admit that “it’s not one of their best,” others dismiss it as dog doo.
I’m in the dog doo camp.
After the stimulating freshness of Definitely Maybe and the bounty of classics in Morning Glory, the possibility that Be Here Now could be a stinker was hard for me to accept when I first listened to the album. I felt my heart sink as the opening song, “D’You Know What I Mean” dragged on for more than seven minutes over a whisper in the back of my brain telling me, “That sounds pretty close to the chord structure of “Wonderwall!” My hopes for salvation were cruelly destroyed by the next song, the incredibly muddled and manically overdubbed madness of “My Big Mouth.” From that point forward, it was a matter of looking for one or two songs to salvage a piece of my investment.
“Magic Pie” didn’t cut it. “Stand By Me” didn’t move my needle (I hated the opening line, “Made a meal and threw it up on Sunday”). “I Hope, I Think, I Know” had possibilities, but the syllabically-crammed lines forced Liam to sound like he was on the last leg of the marathon. “The Girl in the Dirty Shirt” turned out to be one of my two “likes” on the album, but it was definitely in the class of higher-grade filler material. I hated “Fade In-Out,” and while I liked the opening guitar, vocal and general progression of “Don’t Go Away,” the lyrics never added up to anything approaching cohesive poetry. “Be Here Now” wins my vote for “Weakest Song to Earn Title Track Designation of All Time.” The grandiose finale combination of “All Around the World/”It’s Getting Better”/”All Around the World Reprise” felt at this point that they were trying to put lipstick on a pig.
To put it simply, fame, friction and way too much partying caused them to lose touch with imagination and talent.
Shockingly, Be Here Now received rave reviews from the critics when it came out, one even comparing it Sgt. Pepper! The theory behind this odd development is that the critics had blasted the crap out of Morning Glory, were stunned by its success, and felt eager to get on the Oasis bandwagon lest they be filed under “Irrelevant and Out of Touch with the Listening Public.”
This is a perfect example of the kind of music critic behavior that motivated me to start writing reviews. You may not like what I have to say, but I listen carefully to anything I review and I give you my honest opinion without trying to please fans or artists or feed my personal sense of self-importance.
So, without trying to please the Gallagher brothers, the legions of Oasis fans all around the world, and in full possession of an ego that needs no validation, I hereby declare that Be Here Now sucks eggs.